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NFC West Whispers

Stinger hampers effectiveness of Cardinals' Dockett

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By PFW staff

Here are some whispers we've been hearing from around the NFC West:

• Our Cardinals insiders tell us there's no denying that Pro Bowl DL Darnell Dockett is playing at far less than full strength lately with a stinger that has greatly reduced the strength in his left arm. "It's pretty obvious," said one team insider. "He's been playing through it (the stinger), but you could just see how much it's bothering him the way he was grimacing in the locker room after the game with the Niners."

• It's become apparent to our sources in Seattle that veteran MLB Lofa Tatupu has come down to earth after a very solid start, in great part due to the absence of injured DTs Brandon Mebane, who just recently returned to the lineup, and Colin Cole. "He's had some issues with his knee, too," said one daily team observer.

• We hear the future is not looking real bright for injured C Eric Heitmann in San Francisco. "Unless he could live with being a backup, which he would be great at because he can play guard as well as center," a team insider said of Heitmann, who doesn't seem likely to win the starting center job back from David Baas. "But his neck is not in good shape right now. I could see him seriously considering calling it a career."

• We hear there could be no end to the constant shuffling by the Rams at weak-side linebacker, where different starters have seemed to pop up almost every week. "It's just one of those deals where they can't seem to settle on any one guy," said one team insider. "I could see that position being their top priority in the next draft."

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